What Does It Mean When My Dog Bows?

Why do dogs sometimes bow? Dogs generally bow when they encounter people, other animals, or when greeting or welcoming other dogs. They bow by folding the front of their body forward and down, making themselves appear shorter and thinner.

What does it mean when a dog bows?

It means the dog is trying to communicate with you, and it’s generally an effort to make you like them. The bow starts with a physical action but also conveys something about their mental state. If they’re nervous, unconfident, or unsure of what to do around people they may lower themselves more than usual or they might go even further and roll onto their back.

This is a signal that they’re not a threat, and it’s a form of submission to let you know they want to be friends. They may also lower themselves because they are anxious or insecure but feel forced to show it out of fear.

Bowing is not necessarily a bad thing if it doesn’t mean your dog is afraid or insecure, but it’s important to recognize when this behavior is coupled with other signs of insecurity.

What are some common reasons dogs bow to their owners or other dogs?

Dogs that bow greet owners in this way as a sign of friendship. When dogs bow to other dogs, they are not necessarily asking for permission or dominance. They are bowing out of a friendly wish to bond with the other dog. They are not trying to show who is in charge.

Dogs that bow may appear anxious or submissive to unfamiliar people. This may happen when the dog feels uncertain about a new person or situation.

Other dogs may bow when greeting you because they are feeling friendly. They are not trying to show dominance. They are not trying to say “I’m in charge.”

When dogs bow it’s usually considered playful behavior, so if you start to notice other signs of anxiety along with the bowing you should call off training for the day. If possible, confine your dog in a separate area where they won’t be disturbed by visitors or other dogs.